Can you believe the Oregon news these days? Even in the slow days of March, we have things to feel a little down about, news that is incredible and an item that Mr. FishDuck has been pondering. Let’s get to it, my fellow Duck fans!
Be Proud of the Unknown From Men’s Basketball …
Yup … the loss in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship hurts, and the loss of star Chris Boucher could be a killer in terms of Final Four aspirations, but there are some interesting observations about this team from Pac-12 Analyst Kevin O’Neil that Oregon fans should know and take heart in.
“You know what it is about their team? You watch Dillon Brooks on the bench against Cal – he is laughing, joking, cheering his teammates on … they don’t care who gets the credit, they care who gets the win – more than any team in the league. It solidifies who they are; two starters coming off the bench from last year’s Elite Eight team and you don’t read about it in the newspaper, and they never look like they are pouting and it’s unbelievable the approach they’ve taken to let the rest of the players, the starters, to shine.”
That is a tremendous observation I had not considered until it came from a former head coach who knows that most egos in college basketball would not accept a spot off the bench – and thereby would have transferred before the season. It makes you proud of the coaching job by Dana Altman and his staff and of the quality of character displayed by Casey Benson and Boucher, along with the rest of our beloved Ducks.
The Women of Oregon are Incredible …
The Oregon women’s track and field team won its seventh NCAA National Indoor title in the last eight years on Saturday, scoring 84 points and breaking the all-time meet scoring record of 71 points scored by Texas 29 years ago. National Champion Ariana Washington (200 meters) said it best (from Oregon Press Release):
“We came here to win a team title, and we did it, we locked it up. We knew what we came here to do and I think all season, ever since cross country won, we’ve had a goal of getting this done. So no matter how we had to do it, we were gonna do it.”
The margin of victory was a stunning 33 points over the runner-up; folks, this ranks as one of the greatest women’s track teams ever assembled. Coupled with the National title in cross country this fall, the Duck women are now positioned to take a run at the incredibly difficult Triple Crown (cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field) this spring.
I believe this makes 32 total National Championships for Oregon, while the Huskies have seven, and the Beavers have three. The drama and interest is huge with all the unanswered questions with the football program (which we will be covering in full force at FishDuck.com), the reloaded softball program (24-0) and a Triple Crown in play for womens’ track. Spring is going to be fun as a Duck!
Head Coach Willie Taggart is “Reverse Vetting?”
You recall that Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich devised a new method of recruiting: find and target prospects who were good students and citizens, in addition to being tremendous athletes. The vetting process was extreme, right down to talking to the prospect’s pastor, opposing coaches, and even the high school janitor. Unfortunately this meticulous process took time, which became a challenge. Oregon started out by first finding out who was interested in Oregon in a serious fashion, and only then did the “mother of all vetting processes” take effect.
The problem was that half the prospects want to decide sooner these days, and by the time Oregon finally officially offered? The recruit had already visited and decided on a different school.
By contrast, coach Willie Taggart is offering targets immediately and often; Scout.com shows an astounding 215 offers made already for 2018 recruits, while CBS 247 shows a whooping 231 prospects offered by the Ducks, and it is not even Spring Vacation yet? Holy Crap.
I began thinking that there can’t possibly be any vetting going on, thus I suspected a “Reverse Vetting” process was taking place. I proposed this to FishDuck.com Recruiting Strategist, Jason Fowler, who did some digging with his inside sources and found that yes, there is an established process. I will let our own talented recruiting guru cover it in-depth in a future article, but for now, know that the offering process is not willy-nilly (yes … that expression really dates me).
Better Check Tuesdays …
Everyone knows that Tuesdays are generally when Analysis articles are presented on this site, but we do have a new treat for readers, as the wisdom and experience of Bob Rickert joins us at FishDuck.com. Bob wrote for the Oregonian and other major publications for 16 years. He is now owns an ad agency and is teaching at the University of Oregon, but he still writes for fun, and we are the beneficiaries.
Bob is especially a basketball junkie (though his expertise extends to football, as well). His knowledge is evident from last Tuesday’s article about Dana Altman, and you cannot help but learn and be entertained by his article last Thursday concerning the NBA possibilities of Dillon Brooks. He will be here this Thursday, and each week on Tuesday. Welcome Bob!
“Oh how we love to learn (and comment!) about our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
College Football Analyst for FishDuck.com
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